Two employees of Sonamarg Development Authority (SDA) were among nine people rescued in a joint operation from avalanche-hit Sonamarg area on Srinagar-Leh National Highway in the central Kashmir district of Ganderbal on Friday.
In view of an avalanche threat, Kashmir Divisional Commissioner Asgar Hassan has asked the people to not venture beyond the last police post at Gagangir towards Sonamarg. He has directed that any violations shall be viewed seriously.
Head of the Divisional Disaster Authority (DDA) in Kashmir, Aamir Ali, said that a joint operation was launched by the Army, Indian Air Force, police and civil administration with the help of locals in Sonamarg area and nine people, including two SDA employees, who had got trapped on the night of Februrary 22, were rescued. The rescue operation started early at 7am.
These people had taken shelter under Shitkari bridge near Sonamarg, he said adding that rescue operations on Thursday had to be abandoned due to snowfall and bad weather.
The trapped persons who spent night under the bridge were airlifted in choppers of Army and IAF using rope ladders as landing in the area was not possible due to avalanches.
Wing Commander Vikram and Flight Lt Desai flew the helicopter.
The rescued persons were airlifted to Sonamarg, from where they are being shifted to Ganderbal.